Crimson Swordsmen Tied for Fourth; Navy, N.Y.U. Lead NCAA Tournament
Seven teams are jammed within three points of each other as the NCAA fencing tournament moves into its last day in the IAB this morning--and Harvard is one of them.
The surprising Crimson squad, 11th out of 12 teams in the Easterns last week, rode the spindly shoulders of bespecacled foil fencer Dan Kirsch into a four-way tie for fourth place with 46 points, just three behind the leader, Navy.
N.Y.U. held down second place, one point behind the middies, as the first five rounds of action ended last night. Penn, another surprise, was third with 47, followed by Harvard, Princeton, Illinois, and defending champion Columbia, all tied up with 46.
All three Crimson fencers turned in good scores, but it was Kirsch who provided the thrills as well as the top tally. The little (5-7) senior ripped off 10 wins in his first 10 bouts, winning against his toughest competitors before running into trouble with some relatively mediocre competition.
Kirsch, who wound up a strong third among individual foil fencers with a 17-4 total, turned in victories over Brooklyn's David Blumstein (15-6), Cornell's All-Ivy Ron Schwartz (16-5) and Navy's Frey Raymond (17-4). But the Crimson foilman dropped bouts to Air Force's Gene Pottenger (11-10), Harry Pratt (11-10) of Trinity, and Mike Dwytryk (11-10) of U.C.L.A., as well as Columbia's prize sophomore Steve Weinstein (16-5).
He goes into tomorrow's final rounds trailing Princeton's Bill Hicks (18-1) and N.Y.U.'s Eastern champion Marvin Garovoy (18-2). Kirsch will face both men during tomorrow's action, which gets underway at 8:15 a.m. in the IAB, and should be over about 3 p.m.
Sophomore Bill Neaves, with a creditable 15-7 mark, was tied with three other fencers for fourth place in the epee, far behind Rutgers' astounding Paul Pesthy, the tournament's outstanding fencer with a 21-1 mark. Navy's Benson Williams, and the Air Force's Jack Patterson were closest to Pesthy with 16-5 scores.
Paul Zygas, the Crimson's representative in the sabre, turned in a workmanlike job and 14-7 record, well to the rear of Penn's Fred VasNynatten and Illinois' Craig Bell, who led in the weapon with 0-2 marks.
Almost nothing was certain as the teams approached today's finals. Navy, an upset winner in the Easterns last week, had no individual leaders but displayed good balance, picking up 17 points in the foil and 16 in the other two weapons.
The Middies were slight favorites to sold their lead today, but all the top teams--and Notre Dame, just behind the headers with 45--are within easy striking distance of first place. And no one was counting out Dan Kirsch and Harvard.